CCTV – Americas Now | SHORT DOCUMENTARIES
Throughout the year we roam Latin America pursuing stories of impact in the continent. From Mexico to Bolivia, the region is everyday more interconnected and full of challenges as it advances both economically and politically. The samples below are some of the short documentaries produced for Americas Now, a weekly show on CGTN AMERICA.
PIRATES IN ECUADOR
In the coastal town of Manta, Ecuador, being an artisanal fisherman has become a dangerous occupation. Modern-day pirates have made a habit of hijacking their boats, assaulting the crews and even going as far as killing some of them.
The perils of fishing in the Ecuadorian coast are only the latest problem its fishermen are facing. They were already struggling with the challenges of over-fished waters and the unforgiving competition from large scales fisheries that have forced them to go further into deep waters in order to make their daily catch.
For a decade, the U.S. Air Force helped Ecuador patrol its waters from what it called a Forward Operating Location – FOL, a military post manned with around 200 troops that operated out of Manta’s international airport. The U.S. mission flew anti-narcotics flights meant to help catch cocaine smugglers close to the point of production. The foreign military presence was deemed by many in Ecuador as a violation of the country’s sovereignty and in 2009 president Rafael Correa fulfilled his campaign promise to close it down, sending instead local and national police to take over those duties.
Today, fishermen are divided over whether their lot has improved.
ECUADOR OIL POLLUTION
The Amazonian jungle is supposed to be a pristine territory. However, in vast areas of the Ecuadorian Amazon, the reality could not be more different.
For people like the Cofan, everything changed in 1964, when Texaco first discovered oil underneath the soil of Ecuador’s rainforest. The U.S.–based company started to drill for oil with little or no regard for the ecological impact of its activities. When it left the country, in 1992, it left behind more than 1,000 open-air unlined waste pits filled with crude and toxic sludge, and had dumped more than 18 billion gallons of toxic wastewater –a byproduct of the drilling process of 350 oil wells that the company had carved out of the jungle’s surface.
The indigenous tribes were forced to adapt to worsening environmental conditions such as contaminated water sources, large swaths of rainforest ravaged by oil spills from poorly-kept infrastructure, or deadly residues poured into the jungle. A decades-long legal battle ensued between the indigenous tribes and the U.S. oil giant, which shows no signs of ending. As lawyers from Canada to Argentina argue, those affected by the ecological disaster continue to suffer. And the government of Ecuador is already conducting more oil and mining operations.
THE CHALLENGES OF THE 2014 World Cup IN BRAZIL
As people everywhere were preparing to watch the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, Brazilians themselves couldn’t be more divided. There were twelve Brazilian cities are hosting Cup matches and many were asking whether this was way too much. The costs had been off the roof, thousands of people displaced to pave the way to facilities, construction embezzlement and a feeble economy hasn’t helped either. With thousands protesting the games across the land, we explore the challenges of hosting a FIFA World Cup in Brazil.